For what seems like the 100th time in the past four decades, a new professional football league is set to start playing games next year. The new league, called the A11 Professional Football League (A11FL), will play their games in the spring and will have their inaugural season in 2015. The Northern California team will be called the San Francisco Bay Area Sea Lions.
Okay, so saying a new pro-football league will open up for the 100th time was a little exaggerated. But the World League of American Football, USFL, XFL and UFL — among countless other failed pro-football leagues — should serve as a warning to the new A11FL. Even though the new league’s schedule will be played in the spring and end before the start of the NFL’s preseason games, it will likely suffer the same fate as the other football leagues in the past.
In addition to the Sea Lions, there will be the Los Angeles Express, New Jersey Generals, Dallas Wranglers, Chicago Staggs and Tampa Bay Bandits. The league is expected to announce two more teams before the start of the 2015 season. The Sea Lions are looking at Stanford Stadium, California Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara as possible venues to play their home games.
According to the league, here are a few examples of what will set the A11FL apart from the NFL:
- ESPN will broadcast two “showcase games” this spring, and the entire season in its inaugural 2015 season. A11FL Commissioner Scott McKibben said the two nationally broadcast exhibition games this year will be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay on May 17 and the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on June 5.
- Using the A-11 Offense, each offensive player is eligible to receive the ball, depending on how they line up on the line of scrimmage. Imagine every player on offense being eligible to receive the ball, depending on how they line up on the line of scrimmage. Your best lineman, could be your best receiver. That’s how we’ll play the game.
- The A-11 Offense, by design, reduces the chances of injury while still maintaining the speed, athleticism and dynamics that avid football fans have come to expect from the game. But fans beware, you could hurt yourself trying to keep up with who has the ball.
- The A11FL is offering pro-level athletes a dual track to professional football and is looking for top tier talent for our A11FL Player Pool. If you are a superstar athlete who believes you have what it takes to play in some of America’s largest stadiums during the Spring, please register.
- The league will hire recognizable names as head coaches and general managers.
- The A11FL is taking the game back to the way it was originally played by changing one rule – no jersey numbering requirements for the offense.
- Tim Tebow might be the face of the league…if he chooses to play.
So what do you think of the new pro-football league and team coming to the Bay Area, 49ers Faithful? The A11FL will generate a lot of buzz in the opening season, but with the NFL capturing our attention 365 days a year — plus the lure of other sports played in the spring and summer — something tells me the league will not last more than two or three seasons.
The league was set to unveil the Sea Lions’ logo on Friday, but at the time of this posting nothing was released. However, if you go to the leagues magazine website, you can view the helmet for the Sea Lions. The team colors are similar to the San Francisco Giants and the now defunct San Francisco Bulls.